Six more of Clermont County’s varsity boys basketball teams will be beginning their trail through their respective sectional tournaments.
Milford (number-10 seed) versus Wilmington (number-19 seed), Feb. 22, 8 p.m., at the University of Cincinnati.
“I’m happy we’re seeded tenth and I’m happy with the night we’re playing,” said Milford head coach Joe Cambron of his Eagles who are 11-6 overall and 7-5 in the Greater Miami Conference.
“Wilmington is a very athletic team,” said Cambron. “They start two freshmen who are very good. They’re beatable, but they’re very dangerous.” The Hurricanes are tied for first place in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division with Turpin.
“Our season has been a blast. Not just because we’re winning, but the kids are great and we’ve been getting tremendous crowd support that is awesome.”
Junior forward Brandon Baker is leading the Red and White with his 16.1 scoring average. He is also averaging 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Senior forward Andrew Burton is averaging 12.3 points and 5.0 rebounds. Sophomore forward Mark Bryant is averaging 8.4 points and 8.1 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Zachary Host is the GMC leader with 4.4. assists.
The Milford mentor is very pleased with the future of the program, too. "Seven of our team will be returning next year, four of them are starters and our eighth graders are in the finals of the GMC Tournament for the second straight year," Cambron said.
Bethel-Tate (number-12 seed) versus Turpin (number-four seed), Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Anderson High School.
"They're pretty good. They're strong, physical, and big," said Mike Jennings, Bethel-Tate head coach, of his foe.
He said of his team which is 5-13 overall and 3-9 in the SBC-A, "We're a young team and I think because of that we've lost a lot of close games (three in overtime), but the future looks pretty bright. They're showing a lot of improvement"
Freshman forward Louie Schaljo is the scoring leader at 12 points per game and he is averaging six rebounds. Sophomore forward Mike Hill is averaging seven rebounds. Senior guard Justin Marshall is the assist leader and the stingiest on defense has been senior guard Cory Roberts.
Clermont Northeastern (number-eight seed) versus Roger Bacon (number-seven seed), Feb. 24, 1 p.m., at Anderson High School.
"We're playing my old alma mater," said CNE head coach Jerry Doerger. "They're not up to snuff of real Roger Bacon teams of the past few years, but they play super competition in the (Greater Cincinnati League)."
Doerger's charges are in the thick of the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division race with a record of 8-2, the Blue and Gold is 12-5 overall.
"We can play with them. It's a somewhat decent match-up," said Doerger.
"I'm really pleased, happy with how we've done this season. We have a more balanced offense this year. The team has overachieved."
Senior forward Zach Slusher is CNE's leading playmaker while averaging 15 points and six rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Jake Terry is a leader in assists and averages 14.0 points per confrontation. Junior center Chris Jordan is the leader on the boards with 8.0 rebounds per game and is the leader with blocked shots.
Senior forward Mike Clark, returning to the line-up from an injury, "gives an extra shot in the arm on the boards and gives us more depth. (Sophomore forward Justin) Messinger has added some help at guard. . . (Senior forward-center Dave) Colwell and (junior guard Tyler) Sanders have been a big help."
Batavia (number-six seed) versus Wyoming (number-one seed), Feb. 24, 4 p.m., at Anderson High School.
"When our turn came to draw we had either Taft or Wyoming left and I picked Wyoming because I thought we had a better shot against them," said Bulldog head coach Mike Hatfield of his squad that is 4-12 overall and 4-8 in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division.
"We got off to a real slow start this year, but we've won our last three games. The kids keep working hard and they keep getting better," Hatfield said.
Junior guard Andrew Avery is the scoring leader at 13 points per game and is gathering seven rebounds per contest. Sophomore forward Eric Simmons is averaging nine points and seven rebounds. Both are stalwarts on defense. Senior point guard Jason Strine is averaging 11 points per outing and he, senior guard-forward Jake Florez, and junior guard Caleb Corrill are the 'Dogs leading playmakers (assists).
Williamsburg (number-12 seed versus the winner of the Lockland (number-two seed) and Hillcrest (number-nine seed) game, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m., at Loveland High School.
"It's been a frustrating season. Things haven't gone our way," said Andy Stiles, head coach of the Wildcats who are 2-16 overall and 2-10 in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division.
Stiles has some information on Lockland where he learned the Panthers have a 6-foot, 7-inch center. Stiles said he, as yet, doesn't know anything about Hillcrest. He said the Panthers are in the middle of the Miami Valley Conference race with a 13-4 overall slate.
"We were the last seed so we were the last to draw who we played," Stiles said.
The 'Burg offense is led by senior forward Justin Hines who has a 19.0 scoring average, senior guard Jacob Morgan is averaging 14.0, and junior guard Josh Ross 9.0. Hines is grabbing 10.5 rebounds and Morgan 6.0 per game. Ross is the best playmaker with 6.0 assists per battle. Junior guard DuSean Shelton and senior forward Daniel Sweet have been the 'Cats' defensive standouts and senior guard John Pope has "handled the point well. He keeps improving."
Glen Este (number-32 seed) versus Elder (number-two seed), Mar. 1, 8:30 p. m., at the University of Cincinnati.
"Elder is a very good team playing in one of the best leagues in the state. They have good inside play and a good post player," said GE head coach Tom Jutze, adding, "They play a hard man-to-man defense.
"We're going to have to execute well and believe in ourselves and give them our best."
Junior forward Josh Crawford is the Trojan team's top scorer at 10.0 and rebounder at 6.0 per contest. Senior guard Steve Wilson and senior forward Joe Mack have "played well all-around since they have been back (from injuries). They've given us a good boost.
"With all of the injuries and other problems we've had this year, we've been rotating kids in and out of the line-up. Those kids have done well who have had to fill in," Jutze concluded about his squad that is 2-14 overall and 1-8 in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye Division.